My name is Kristen Green. I am 16 years old and I am from Franklin County Tennessee. Steubenville really was a life changing experience for me. I first went the summer before my freshman year of high school. I wasn’t really sure what to expect so I was very nervous. I never attended church and was not baptized so I knew I would be lost and not know exactly what to do. My aunt and cousin wanted me to go so I did and my cousin was with me the entire time. We helped out in the chapel that year and it was really neat. I enjoyed it a lot and I couldn’t wait to go next summer. I went back home to Tennessee and told my mom all about it. We decided to attend church a little more and we did.
When I went to Steubenville again next summer I was really happy. I had been going to church a little more so I wouldn’t be completely lost this time. During my second summer at Steubenville my faith really started to sink in. My cousin and I went together again but this year we were put with another youth group from Farmville, Virginia. We immediately loved them and it was instant fun. They were all such sweet people! Great kids. Great leaders. While I was there that summer I realized the importance of baptism. I knew it was something that I wanted. It was explained to me that I would have to go through RCIA so I was prepared to work hard because this is what I really wanted to do. On the last day, my cousin and I said goodbye to our Farmville friends with plenty of hugs and laughs. It was sad to leave but we knew that these were friends we would definitely keep in touch with. I was so blessed to be able to spend time with such amazing people that year at Steubenville that when it came time to head back to Tennessee, I knew for sure this time that church attendance would be a regular thing and RCIA was no option. My mother was so proud of me and happy that we were both in church on Sundays together.
Upon returning for my third summer at Steubenville I had joined my church parish youth group and been baptized on Easter. I felt so good on the inside and I was more ready than ever for a wonderful weekend with thousands of other teens. This time I went with my actual youth group and met up with two of my cousins. I met many other teens and built new friendships. I really enjoyed Steubenville that year because I was with my own group and even though we went to school together I felt like there was a different bond that we had when we were together that weekend. I love my youth group and I’m so glad that I joined it.
Steubenville is definitely one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had in my life and throughout each of these conferences I was with the most amazing people! Every year while I’m there with all the other teens I take a moment to think about how blessed and lucky I truly am. I love Steubenville and I can’t wait to go back next year!